Sunday, January 4, 2015

Motherhood (and how it happened)

After waiting an extra week, our little girl finally made her way into the world.
Our sweet, perfect Evelyn Grace was born Tuesday December 30th at 5:18 pm weighing 7 lbs 15 ounces.

Birth story coming up - turn back now if you don't want to read about it.

On Monday morning I woke up, went to the bathroom as per usual, and realized I was losing my mucus plug. We had an ultrasound at 2:30 and an OB appointment afterward where we would be setting a date to induce me. 
The ultrasound was fine, so the doctor did an internal exam and immediately after my water broke. All over the exam table!
I didn't realize it had happened until the doctor said, "oh, I think your water just broke!" And sure enough I felt like I had peed on the table. 
Suddenly, plans were changing.
John and I had decided that, if given the choice, we would opt for an induction on Thursday the 1st for a 2015 baby. We even planned to go to the Keg for dinner the night before for one last date night before we were parents. 
The doctor went to get John and as soon as he walked in I told him my water had broken. His facial expressions mirrored my emotions - excitement, terror, happiness and panic.
The plan now was to go home and wait for contractions to start. If nothing had warranted a trip to the hospital by midnight, we were to head down to be admitted and I'd be given meds to get the contractions going.

We drove home, both managed to keep it together, and made our game plan. We would make sure we had everything ready to go, watch a movie, tidy up, and spend the evening on the couch relaxing.
By 11 pm I was only having mild contractions and there was no rhythm or increasing pattern to them. We dropped the dog off at John's parents' and got to the hospital just after midnight. 
I was 1 cm dilated so they hooked me up to the pitocin and we settled in for the night. 
I woke up around 4 with increasingly intense contractions. I also had a few episodes of diarrhea which is horrible when coupled with contractions. 
I had one very intense contraction that caused me to sit up and when I did I was convinced I had peed all over the bed. Turns out it was just the rest of my water breaking but I was convinced that the bed would be soaked (it wasn't).
After that the contractions continued to build and I opted for the epidural.
One blunt but wise nurse told us to get as much sleep as we could because labour could take days and I would need my strength for pushing.
I got the epidural and it was bliss after that. The epidural seemed like such a scary thing - a giant needle being pushed into my spine - but it was nothing. The only thing I felt was the initial needle to freeze the area. After that it was a tiny bit of pressure but nothing painful, not even uncomfortable. 

After that we tried to sleep but it was hard for me to roll side to side so my sleep wasn't great. And I can't imagine John got a much better sleep on his pull out bed-chair contraption. 

At 6 am the doctor checked me and I was only 2 cm dilated but much more effaced. Some progress.

Family started to filter in, I met Dr. Berger who would be delivering my girl, and I craved a burger while I made due with my jello and popsicle and juice. 
At around 10 am they checked me again and I was 4-5 cm dilated.  Half way there!

By 2 pm I was about 7 cm dilated. 
Around 3 pm I started to feel the contractions a bit more intensely. My pitocin had been upped to a fairly high level which made the contractions very close together with little relief in between. The nurse explained that when they initially put in the epidural they give a higher dose to ensure that the area freezes but that this wears off over time. John and I tried unsuccessfully to get back to the level of comfort I was at before by giving myself a dose every 10 minutes but after 30-40 minutes of that it was evident that the epidural was starting to wear off in the upper half of my abdomen. Thankfully they were able to give me a top up dose and after that I was in heaven again. A little dopey but much more comfortable. 
All I wanted to do after that was sleep. 
So I did. 
I closed my eyes and slept.
When I woke up around 4:30 the nurse was checking me again and I was instantly awake when she said, "okay, we're ready to push. Let's get set up!"
John went to get my sister from the waiting room and our family members then also left the waiting room and gathered in the hall outside of the delivery room. 
As scared as I was to actually be in the process now of actively having a baby, I was excited as well.
After about 30-40 minutes of pushing (pushing, for the record, is HARD. Way way harder than I expected it to be. I thought I was going to pass out a few times), our little girl had arrived. The nurse brought in a mirror so I could watch the birth and holy cow... watching her head come out and seeing her face... there aren't words to describe how magical it is. 

Our beautiful daughter entered the world at 5:18 pm on Tuesday December 30th. 

John cut the cord and the doctors went in for an intense internal exam because they were afraid part of my placenta hadn't come out. This was by far the most painful and uncomfortable part of the entire process. 
Thankfully I didn't need stitches.

We were moved into the post-partum room after about an hour. 
Family came to ooh and ahh and we did the same, just staring at this perfect little human we had brought into the world. 

I learned how to waddle to the bathroom and only peed my pants once. I made it right into the bathroom and had just closed the door behind me when my bladder just let go. 
Thankfully I was wearing one of the giant pads the hospital gives you so it absorbed most of the damage. 

Why did I share that? There should be no shame if you pee your pants after giving birth.
Those muscles need time to recover! 

We stayed 3 nights in total as the nurses wanted to be sure I didn't have an infection since my water had broken more than 24 hours before she was born.

I also had my first I'm-a-terrible-mother breakdown (highly influenced also by raging hormones and 2 nights of no sleep) when Evelyn spent the third night unconsolably fussing and the nurses couldn't give me any advice beyond "just keep breastfeeding". 
In the morning our nurse, and my favourite of all of the nurse we had, suggested we give her a bit of formula in case she was hungry and my colostrum wasn't producing enough just yet. She gulped down the formula then immediately settled to sleep.
So I cried. 
Because obviously it was clear that 2 days into motherhood I couldn't provide for my daughter. 
The wonderful nurse assured me this wasn't the case.

Thankfully, Evelyn continues to have her fussy, inconsolable moments but she does eventually settle and we know that she is well fed. 

We spent our New Years cuddled together on John's pull out bed chair sipping champagne and watching the fireworks at City Hall from the window. 
It was actually quite romantic and definitely a New Years Eve I will never forget. 

Hard to believe we've had our beautiful little bug for a whole week now.
Things are starting to feel like routine and we're getting the hang of this parenting thing - although every day is different and sleep is hit or miss. 

Pictures of the little bug to come! 

1 comment:

  1. What a cliff hanger. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story... Congratulations. So happy that Evelyn has arrived safely and that she has been welcomed with so much love. xoxo